Toronto to Kingston and back

Aug 18th, 2001, 10:00 PM
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Toronto to Kingston and back

Is it possible to go to Kingston from Toronto and back in one day? We would like to take the 1000 island cruise at Kingston. How much driving time does it take one way?
Aug 19th, 2001, 09:00 AM
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ERIC-(Our son starts school in Kingston in two weeks and we have been going up there alot.)I believe that it is about 2 1/2 hour drive from Toronto to Kingston each way. The 1,000 island tours out of Kingston are either 1 hour or 3 hours(the 3 hours was beautiful and I would personally chose that!).There are some great restaurants in Kingston along with other things to see and do(ie. Fort Henry,etc.) so I would advise you to possibly throw in an overnight so you can fit everything in. Have fun!
Aug 19th, 2001, 06:55 PM
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Having regularly done the drive up to Kingston from Toronto, I would strongly second Debbie's advice to not try and do it in a day. Getting in and out of Toronto can be a real challenge due to traffic, so the 2.5 hour trip can easily become 3 hours+ each way. Approx. 6 hours driving is too much to make it a relaxing day. Kingston is lovely, and there's lots to do.

Aug 19th, 2001, 09:05 PM
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Thank you so much for your responses. This is Eric'Mom speaking. We are a family of four planning a trip to Toronto in Mid-September. This will be our first trip to Eastern Canada and we want to see the Niagara Falls and the 1000 islands but only got 6 days to spend.
This is my proposed itinery:
We will be flying to Buffalo and arrive at the airport aroung 5P.M. We will pick up a rental car and drive to Niagara Falls and spend the night there. On the second day, we will spend the morning at the Falls and then drive to Toronto in the afternoon. We will spend the next three days in Toronto with a day trip to Kingston to see the 1000 islands. We will then drive back to the Niagara Falls and spend the 5th night there. On the last day of our trip,we will go to Niagara-on-the Lake and then head back to Buffalo to catch the 5 P.M. plane home.Any recommendations?
Aug 24th, 2001, 01:12 PM
Brian Kilgore
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Kingston's OK for a day, round trip.

Just get up early in Toronto, and allow half an hour to get to the edge fo the city, and then 2.5 to get to Kingston. Except Kingston's not the best place to catch the tour boats. You need to add 20-30 minutes, and get further east, to Gananoque.

Enjoy your boat tour, come back into Kingston,head down to the harbour area, walk around for a while, get a decent dinner from 6 - 7:30, and then drive home again in the dark, cuz there's nothing to see that you did not see that morning.

If you skip dinner in Kingston, you'lljust end up eating in some highway rest-stop hamburger place, and get back to Toronto in time to watch TV in your room, so that plan makes no sense.

Aug 25th, 2001, 08:13 PM
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I'm glad someone pointed out that Gananoque is the better place to take a cruise to the 1000 Islands. That is because it will include a stop at Boldt Castle (I think I have the name right). When we did the tour we were on our way to Montreal so stayed over in Kingston (more selection of hotels and motels)and then got up early and headed 15 mins. further to Gananoque. How old are your family members? There are also some interesting resorts for fishing & water sports or antiquing that are in the Kingston area but are situated a short drive north of the city for an overnight stay. Regarding the rest of your itinerary: Since you're arriving so late in the day into Buffalo I agree that you should stay over in N.F. You can get up the next morning and take the Maid of the Mist. It is the best way to see the Falls since it literally lets you 'see, feel and touch' the Falls as you are on a boat which comes right up to the Falls. After that, take the scenic drive from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Did you want to just have lunch or picnic, walk around, or take in a play at the Shaw Festival? If you just wanted to see N-O-T-L, you could then continue on your way to Toronto with one more stop enroute at one of the beautiful vineyards that are off the highway. Vineland Estates or perhaps Eastdell. You would then be left with a drive of approximately 1 hour, 15 mins. into Toronto. Maid of the Mist 10 a.m., Niagara-on-the Lake 12 noon, Vineyard 1:30, Toronto 4 p.m. Going back to Buffalo on your return you could do shopping at the Outlet Mall in Lewiston or the Galleria in Buffalo or plan a stop at the Casino. Email me directly if you want. By the way, where will you be staying in Toronto? Do you know that yet? That can make a difference to how you enjoy our city.
Aug 27th, 2001, 07:45 AM
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While Brian Kilgore's right, that it's feasible to do 1000 island tour in a day from Toronto, I still wouldn't recommend it unless you have aburning desire to do the boat tour.

You would have to leave Toronto *very* early to miss rush hour. I expect you'll be staying downtown, and you'll find it quite busy just getting up to the 401, and then getting out of the greater Toronto area.

Kingston and the 1000 islands are lovely, but I don't think they're worth a very long drive back and forth, all in one day. If you had more time, and could spend the night, you could see more of Kinston (Fort Henry, the town itself, etc.), and have a more relaxed drive. As it stands, I'd spend more time in and around the Toronto area, or perhaps Niagara on the Lake, as has been suggested above.

If you do decide to do it, I agree with Brian's suggestion that you have dinner in Kingston, and drive back in the evening - there are some good restaurants in Kingston (e.g. Chez Piggy), and you'll miss rush hour coming back.

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